"A Bikini Divides the Eyeline Between Top and Bottom, but a One-Piece Shows Off the Figure so They Only Flatter the Slender" (ビキニは目線が上下に分かれますけどワンピースは身体のラインが出ますから細い方しか似合わないんですよ Bikini wa Mesen ga Jōge ni Wakaremasu kedo Wanpīsu wa Karada no Rain ga Demasu kara Hosoi Kata Shika Niawanain desu yo?) is the thirteenth episode of the Toaru Kagaku no Railgun anime series. It was first broadcast on December 25, 2009.
It is somewhere in the middle of summer in Tokiwadai Middle School, and both Misaka Mikoto and Shirai Kuroko feel the heat on their skin as they have their snacks outside. Kuroko takes this opportunity to get intimate with Mikoto by trying to get her to apply some sunscreen.
Unfortunately for Kuroko, schoolmates Awatsuki Maaya and Wannai Kinuho arrive to ask them a favor.
Maaya and Kinuho soon explain that they are in need of swimsuit models after the company that is sponsoring the Tokiwadai Swimming Team requested models for their products, and the swimming team simply has too few available people except for the juniors. Kuroko shows her enthusiasm over "helping" out, but Mikoto is still having second thoughts about becoming models for a day. However, due to some cunning acting by Kuroko, Mikoto ends up accepting Maaya and Kinuho's request, but not until she punishes Kuroko for having lecherous thoughts about her in a swimsuit.
Ruiko and Kazari soon tag along, and the six girls soon arrive at the swimsuit company building. As Maaya takes the time to thank Mikoto for inviting Uiharu and Ruiko in the photo shoot, Kuroko gives a rather worrisome statement as she states the possibility of their bodies ending up in the hands of photo manipulation. Soon, a lady dressed in office attire, who is the one in-charge of the swimsuit company, approaches them and welcomes them to the complex, although she comments that they are two people short.
To Kuroko's chagrin, Kongou Mitsuko arrives wearing an elegant kimono, accompanied by fellow Judgment member Konori Mii, wearing a simple jacket. There, Kongou reveals that she comes as a fellow model, as do Mii, who was invited by some fellow Judgment members.
As Kongou leads the way to the dressing room, Uiharu asks Kuroko if she is someone she knows, to which Kuroko responds by voicing out her regret in knowing someone like her.
Soon, the eight girls are given their time to browse for the swimsuits they want in the company's dressing room. The girls take pairs in looking around the many designs provided by the company; Maaya and Kinuho, Uiharu and Ruiko, and Kuroko with Mitsuko search the aisles for the perfect swimsuit for their style. Meanwhile, Mikoto can't take her eyes off a pink polka-dot two piece with frills. Ruiko and Uiharu see Mikoto eyeing the overly cute piece of swimwear and asks Mikoto to try it on; although Mikoto is reluctant in trying out the one she really likes, she is eventually persuaded to give it a try...
Until Mii suddenly calls out on her childish taste in clothing.
Mikoto quickly swipes an athletic one-piece and storms into the nearest changing locker. There, she regrets not being able to wear that frilly two-piece.
A few minutes after that, everyone gets to their chosen swimsuit. Maaya gets a blue-and-black one-piece, Kinuho tries on a lime-green two-piece with a striped top, Kazari gets a yellow one-piece with a red flower design and Ruiko wears a white and aqua two piece with an aqua sarong. Uiharu seems embarrassed in wearing such skimpy clothing even alongside girls who wear much less than her, and Ruiko and Kinuho assure her that it fits her well and there is nothing to be embarrassed about. Ruiko is amazed that Kinuho knows a lot about swimsuits and decides to ask about her choice of style. Kinuho simply comments that sarongs are best suited for hiding the lower body, much to Ruiko's embarrassment, denying that she is hiding her lower body.
Then, the five girls are shocked as Kuroko emerges from the changing locker, dressed in a purple string bikini that is so short that it seems that it is only designed to cover what should be covered.
However, Mitsuko refuses to go out without a blast, so she tries out a red swimsuit that is open in the middle and the side and even brings in her pet Ekaterina for a "sexy and exotic" look she wants to pull off. Everyone except Uiharu moves away at the sight of Mitsuko's pet python.
Another argument between Mitsuko and Kuroko appears to be brewing.
But, as soon as Konori Mii comes out with a white bikini with black polka-dots and frills, everyone is left stunned at her figure.
Soon, the eight girls are led by the company head to an empty room filled with white panels. The company head then explains that they will hold the photo shoot inside that room, and the studio will be completely virtual, although thanks to Academy City technology, everything will be like the real thing. Also, they are advised to act naturally, as the taking of pictures will be made completely automatically.
As the company head leaves the girls to a tropical paradise, the girls begin to do their way into the shoot.
Mikoto sees Mitsuko "naturally" make alluring poses to an unseen photographer, only to find herself being chased by Kuroko, who wants to apply some sunscreen on her body. Meanwhile, the other girls decide to follow suit as well. Mii enjoys under a hammock, Kinuho and Maaya play volleyball, and Ruiko buries Kazari in a sand sculpture, all while Mikoto is trying to lose Kuroko in the pursuit. Eventually, Mikoto manages to suplex Kuroko to the ground, but the stubborn Teleporter refuses to give up.
Soon, the studio transforms into a luxury resort, and the girls simply enjoy themselves while blending well with the environment.
The studio suddenly switches to a yacht, and the eight quickly adapts to the shift of setting.
Then, the eight girls suddenly find themselves in the middle of a snowstorm... then the desert... then the deep blue sea. As Mitsuko tries her best to become photogenic in every single scenario, the others focus more on why the studio suddenly changes abruptly. Soon, they find themselves at the surface of the moon (sans the gravity) and they gasp in shock as they see a rather familiar monolith jutting out from the lunar landscape. Fortunately, the company head talked to them, announcing some adjustments being made to the system before switching the studio into a campsite.
The company head soon approaches them and apologizes at the unusual events earlier, mentioning an error in the camera system, and asks the girls to take a break for the meantime, but not until telling the girls that the ingredients laid out on the table near them are real.
The girls wonder what food they would be able to prepare given the ingredients given to them. Mii then gives out a suggestion: making curry.
Soon, Mii asks the girls to split the tasks between preparing the rice and cooking the curry. As Kazari and Ruiko volunteer in handling the curry, Mikoto and Kuroko choose preparing the rice. Mitsuko finds that curry is mere commoner's food, but she was easily provoked by Kuroko into trying to make one. Mii decides to allot some ingredients for "Kongou Family's signature curry", and as Mitsuko finds herself in a complicated situation, Maaya and Kinuho chose to help out Mitsuko in preparing her dish.
Due to a faulty gas stove, Mikoto ends up becoming the rice cooker for Mii and Kuroko, while Kinuho and Maaya are led by Mitsuko into uncharted territory, peeling away into the smallest piece of onion, grating sweet corn, peeling tomatoes using a peeler and slicing kelp using a knife, among others.
As enthusiasm fills Kinuho and Maaya, the smile on Mitsuko's face slowly disappears.
Soon, Mitsuko finally gives up pretending to be a good cook and admits that she hasn't tried curry, let alone cook. As the two look at Mitsuko's grim expression, they decide to ask the others about it.
Mitsuko, Maaya and Kinuho soon learn how to prepare food and cook great curry with Mii while Ruiko and Kazari continue in preparing theirs and as Mikoto exhausts herself in cooking the rice they need for their lunch.
After everyone prepares the table for their lunch together, they soon dig in on their own efforts.
The girls enjoy the chicken curry by Ruiko and Uiharu and the seafood curry by Mii, Mitsuko, Kinuho and Maaya. However, there is still a frown on Mitsuko's face, a frown that went away upon seeing the others praise her efforts in cooking for the very first time. As Mitsuko enjoys the curry she prepared herself, Mikoto tells her that good food tastes great when done with friends. Mitsuko comments that Mikoto is a good person and asks for her name, to the surprise of the others. As soon as Mikoto gives out her name, Mitsuko declares that she is now friends with her.
Soon, the company head tells them that the repairs have been finished and the photoshoot can continue, but allows the girls to finish their lunch. However, the company did request for one shot before they could go back to eating.
The photoshoot ended by late afternoon, and everyone is relieved that they were able to join in on such an enjoyable experience. However, Mikoto seems to be missing...
Elsewhere, a large television screen opens, revealing a brunette wearing a childish pink two-piece tinkering with a remote control. Then, as she manages to change the room filled with white panels into a tropical beach, she proceeds to enjoy herself as if no one is watching her.
However, someone did see her in this moment of sheer bliss.
A certain spiky-haired boy who is "unfortunate" enough to watch her in all her cuteness.
This episode contains an anime-original story and thus, is not adapted from any source.
- Kongou Mitsuko forms friends with Wannai Kinuho, Awatsuki Maaya, and becomes acquainted with Misaka Mikoto.
By order of appearance
- Misaka Mikoto
- Shirai Kuroko
- Wannai Kinuho
- Awatsuki Maaya
- Saten Ruiko
- Uiharu Kazari
- Kongou Mitsuko
- Konori Mii
- Kamijou Touma
- Electromaster - Misaka Mikoto, Level 5.
No new abilities were introduced during this episode.
No notable locations were introduced during this episode.
- A short OAD is later released along with the official visual book of the anime, featuring a story that is supposed to happen during the episode.
- Apart from Ruiko with her sarong, the swimsuits of Mikoto, Kuroko, and Kazari, are fundamentally similar to the ones they were in Toaru Kagaku no Railgun SS: Liberal Arts City.
- The scene where the girls find themselves on the moon is a tribute to the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey, featuring the iconic black monolith, Richard Strauss' Also sprach Zarathustra, and Kuroko briefly wielding a femur as the ape did in the opening of the film.
- Kongou's red swimsuit-Ekaterina combination can be seen as a reference to Boa Hancock of One Piece fame.
No notable references were introduced during this episode.
- The scene before the eyecatch of the episode, where all the girls are lined up together shows the extent on how the girls' heights, and most notably, their bust sizes differ drastically from previous episodes. Here, Ruiko is as tall as Mikoto despite being as tall as Kuroko in the ending sequence. Her bust size is as large as Mii despite being depicted as flat in both manga and novels, and even several times in past episodes. Even in this episode before donning the swimsuit, she appears flat. Mikoto also gains a considerable bust size despite her complaints regarding it as well. Only Mitsuko and Mii seem to be depicted being in front of the group but it does not explain her being taller than Mii, as the former was shown at least to be only slightly taller than Kuroko. The height difference can be handwaved due to the "sand" that have been put there, but there is no indication that it wasn't a flat surface in the first place.
- Why did the machine malfunction in the first place?
- "No matter how childish your figure is, science holds the power of photo manipulation." — Kuroko's "reassuring" remark about Uiharu's worries about modeling with a childish figure